The second electoral round in Türkiye: less illusion but similar delivery

The second round of the presidential elections in Turkey is taking place today faster than the first, although in a less festive and more tense atmosphere.

Where on May 14 there were long lines and obvious illusion among opposition voters convinced that the day would end 20 years of power for current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now the turnout seems much smaller and more hurried. .

But this does not indicate less participation, a volunteer observer at a polling station in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul assures EFE, while taking a break for a sandwich in the schoolyard.

“At noon, the number of people who had come to vote is the same as in the first round, according to what was noted on the table. What happens is that the voting process is much faster now, since there are no more parliamentarians, and that’s why there are no queues”, explains the young woman.

Indeed, if in the first round you also had to choose a party, stamp the box corresponding to one of the 24 formations represented and then carefully fold the ballot, one meter long, to put it in the envelope, now there is only a piece of paper short with two candidates.

Erdogan starts as the clear favorite after having obtained 49.5% in the first round, compared to 44.9% for his competitor, the Social Democrat Kemal Kiliçdaroglu.

But the 5% who voted for the ultranationalist candidate Sinan Ogan in the first round will probably decide on Kiliçdaroglu in the second round, since in general they do not feel close to Erdogan, believe Mustafa and Ebru, two young people who have voted for the Social Democrat.

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“The opposition doesn’t convince me much either, but what we know is that we are not happy, and that is why we want a change,” Ebru details.

Bilal, a 30-year-old businessman who has founded his own security technology business, does feel very comfortable with his life and has voted for Erdogan, seeing him as a defender of the country’s national pride.

He stresses that Turkey wants to be open to the whole world, but not let other powers decide on its laws or policies, and is convinced that Erdogan will maintain this independence, while the opposition will submit too much to the dictates of Europe or the United States.

In all polling stations there are several volunteer observers, convinced that monitoring the polls closely is of the utmost importance, as they fear that Erdogan’s supporters will try to rig the results as soon as they get the chance.

There are suspicions that in some districts, especially in rural areas with few observers, the AKP, Erdogan’s Islamist party, will try to send its supporters to vote in different polling stations, through special permits that are issued to security forces on duty and that empower them to vote where they are.

But overall, the voting and counting system appears robust and difficult to manipulate, according to the opinion of observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which witnessed the first round.

Despite being convinced of his option, Bilal does not want to be too optimistic about the result.

“Who will win is impossible to predict now. We will know at night, when the count is over,” concludes the young businessman.

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